Understanding illicit drug markets, supply-reduction efforts, and drug-related crime in the European Union

Edited by Beau Kilmer, Stijn Hoorens

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The European Drugs Strategy concentrates on demand reduction and supply reduction through international cooperation and research, information and evaluation. However, efforts to provide insight in the different aspects of Europe’s illicit drug problems have largely focused on indicators developed to assess demand-side strategies. The development of measures capturing dimensions of the supply of different illicit substances is an emerging field in the EU. To advance these efforts, the European Commission DG Justice, Freedom and Security commissioned a study to recommend indicators for improving the understanding of illicit drug markets, supply reduction efforts, and drug-related crime in the EU. In this study we reviewed literature and RAND’s previous work in this area, and we gathered insights from European experts and policymakers.

Based on these insights and a conceptual framework for thinking about drug markets, we develop a number of immediate-term, near-term, and long-term recommendations. These recommendations will improve both Member States’ and the European Commission’s ability to monitor drug markets and drug-related crime as well as initiate analyses regarding the effectiveness of supply reduction strategies.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Executive summary

    Beau Kilmer, Rosalie Liccardo Pacula and Stijn Hoorens

  • Chapter Two


    Stijn Hoorens and Beau Kilmer

  • Chapter Three

    A framework for thinking about drug markets

    Rosalie Liccardo Pacula, Beau Kilmer and Priscillia Hunt

  • Chapter Four

    Indicators for understanding supply-reduction efforts

    Beau Kilmer, Rosalie Liccardo Pacula, Priscillia Hunt and Lila Rabinovich

  • Chapter Five

    Indicators for understanding drug-related crime

    Emma Disley, Stijn Hoorens, Priscillia Hunt, Beau Kilmer, Rosalie Liccardo Pacula, Lila Rabinovich and Jennifer Rubin

  • Chapter Six

    Insights from three case studies

    Stijn Hoorens, Susan Kirk, Lila Rabinovich and Emma Disley

  • Appendix A

    Creating price series without data: Harnessing the power of forensic data

    Jonathan P. Caulkins, Sudha S. Rajderkar, and Shruti Vasudev

  • Appendix B

    Summary of major publicly-available datasets on drug supply and drug offences in the EU

  • Appendix C

    Data collected about drug prices, purity and seizures in 3rd countries

Research conducted by

The research in this report was prepared for the European Commission, DG Justice, Freedom and Security and conducted by RAND Europe.

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